Re­mote health sup­port

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

A team of univer­sity stu­dents and health pro­fes­sion­als will be­gin trav­el­ling to re­mote Pil­bara ar­eas to de­liver health and ed­u­ca­tion to in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties on coun­try next year.

The Gu­mala Abo­rig­i­nal Corporation and Mur­doch Univer­sity part­ner­ship will in­volve fi­nal year stu­dents of­fer­ing al­lied health care, ve­teri­nary ser­vices and health ed­u­ca­tion as part of the Health in Mo­tion pro­gram.

Gu­mala will chip in $450,000 to­wards the project and a fur­ther $50,000 will come from the Kar­lka Nyiya­parli Abo­rig­i­nal Corporation.

Mur­doch has pledged $1 mil­lion, and a $250,000 cash do­na­tion has been pledged by phi­lan­thropists.

Gu­mala ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jahna Cedar said the on-coun­try mo­bile clinic would ad­dress the high level of chronic health con­di­tions ex­pe­ri­enced by in­dige­nous peo­ple in the Pil­bara.

“Sta­tis­tics show that hospi­tal pre­sen­ta­tions for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in the Pil­bara are higher than other re­gions in WA,” she said.

“For many of our peo­ple, the time, en­ergy and cost it takes to travel vast dis­tances to ma­jor towns can be a bar­rier to re­ceiv­ing health care.”

Health in Mo­tion project direc­tor Bruce Walker said the project had come about fol­low­ing a health and ed­u­ca­tion needs anal­y­sis un­der­taken by Mur­doch.

“More than 90 per cent of peo­ple sur­veyed sup­ported a mo­bile health and ed­u­ca­tion unit that would travel to smaller re­mote com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

Mr Walker said he hoped the Gu­mala in­vest­ment would at­tract other univer­sity, Gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try part­ners.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Ngur­rawaana com­mu­nity.

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